Sunday, September 22, 2013

The Predictor – Table-toppers clash in Yenagoa

The big game for this matchday of the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) is the top-of-the-table clash between Bayelsa United and Enyimba in Yenagoa.


I know El-Kanemi and Kano Pillars in third and fourth place respectively will also be breathing down the necks of the top-two sides. Just as there will be survival battles at the bottom end of the standings.


Sunday, September 22, 2013
Bayelsa United v Enyimba (Samson Siasia Stadium)
Enyimba are in their best form this season and are on a four-game run without a loss. But this is one big clash that would play a role in the title race this season.

The last time Bayelsa United won a league game against Enyimba was in March 2009. It's going to be a cagey battle in this top-of-the-table clash. However, I'll elect to go with a draw.

My prediction: 0-0


3SC v Enugu Rangers (Lekan Salami Stadium)
Basement boys, 3SC, face Rangers in this clash which I term "the traditional derby." I think this game will have a physical side added to it. 3SC are without a win in four games on the bounce while Rangers have continued to struggle on the road lately.

3SC know how to play against the big teams to earn results, and I expect them to go out all guns blazing in this tie.

My prediction: 2-0


Dolphins v Kwara United (Liberation Stadium)
Both teams are struggling for form. Dolphins have won just once in five consecutive games while Kwara United have taken six points out of the last 15.

Dolphins earned a point off Kwara United in the reverse game this season after Fred Okwara cancelled out Yahaya Adamu's goal. Kwara United have lost that spark that made them the eye-catching side of the first round. It's Dolphins for the points.

My prediction: 1-0


Kano Pillars v Warri Wolves (Ahmadu Bello Stadium)
Champions Kano Pillars start their banishment to Kaduna with this game. Wolves are yet to get over their Cup loss to Enyimba and I don't think they stand a chance in this game with key players low on confidence levels.

Kano Pillars will be keen to make a statement with this game and I sense if Wolves let down their guards this could turn out to be a hiding.

My prediction: 3-1

El-Kanemi Warriors v Gombe United (El-Kanemi Stadium)
I refuse to agree with the school of thought that thinks El-Kanemi are not a strong team. Zachary Baraje's team have got depth and have done well in recent games without their leading scorer, Rafael Boumsong.

Gombe United have done well in their home games but have the worst joint record on the road this season with Kaduna United. They're yet to win an away point and I won't bet on them upsetting the applecart at El-Kanemi.

My prediction: 2-1


Akwa United v Nasarawa United (Uyo Township Stadium; live on SuperSport Select)
In the reverse game both teams fired blanks in Lafia. However, Nasarawa United have won just a point in their last five games on the road while Akwa United are on a run of four straight games without a win.

I envisage a tight contest in Uyo this Sunday and I'll give this tie to The Promise Keepers.

My prediction: 1-0


Wikki Tourists v Nembe City (Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Stadium)
This is a dogfight and a six-pointer. City earned a 2-1 win in the first fixture of this contest but now face the Tourists without a few of the players who masterminded that win after mid-season departures.

These are the games that Wikki should be winning if they want to keep their top flight status. I think the Tourists will beat City.

My prediction: 1-0


Sunshine Stars v Sharks (Akure Township Stadium)
Gbenga Ogunbote has done a fantastic job at Sharks. But he returns to face his former employers, Sunshine Stars, on the back of guiding his team a three-game unbeaten run.

Though Sharks won the reverse game 1-0 against a Sunshine Stars that have been poor all season, I still think the Akure club will win and just by the odd goal.

My prediction: 1-0


ABS v Heartland (Kwara State Stadium)
ABS are third from bottom and now find themselves in a must-win position against Heartland this Sunday. ABS suffered a 0-4 bashing at Sharks in mid-week compared to Heartland, who have not lost in their last five games including a 1-1 draw at home to 3SC in their last game.

Saraki Boys have beaten Heartland just once in five previous head-to-head meetings in the NPFL. It's hard to point where the goals will come from for ABS but they will dig deep to win this.

My prediction: 1-0


Lobi Stars v Kaduna United (Emmanuel Atongo Stadium)
Lobi covered themselves in glory in mid-week when they took a point at Cup finalists, Warri Wolves. This Sunday they are up against Kaduna United, one of the two teams with the worst away record this season.

Confidence is gradually searing through Lobi's squad filled with fledglings. Lobi should pick the points that will continue to keep their survival hopes alive.

My prediction: 2-0

•It was seven correct results for The Predictor in 10 games on Matchday 32 of the NPFL. But he could only chalk up just one perfect score.

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